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A New Era of Leadership in PyeongChang Organizing Committee


A wind of change is fortifying the 2018 Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics Organizing Committee
thanks to its new president Yang Ho Cho.

Han Kook Ilbo, one of South Korea’s major daily newspapers, reported that President Cho is employing a “Yi Sun Shin” leadership style within the Organizing Committee, and is beginning to see success. Admiral Yi Sun Shin was a Korean Naval commander famous for his leadership strategy “to win before the battle occurs.” Frequently compared with England’s Admiral Horatio Nelson, he was famed for his victories against Japan, most remarkably the Battle of Myeongnyang, where he did what was thought impossible: defeated 333 Japanese ships with only 13 ships in the Imjin war.

As the successful CEO of Korean Air, one of the world’s top 20 airlines, President Cho has been emphasizing a similar strategy to his employees and is now sharing that strategy with the Organizing Committee.

He is telling executives not to just look at the Olympic Games as a sporting event, but to look it from a commercial perspective and understand that it is big business for their country. He believes that a successful Olympic Games is not only about sports but also about return on investment and is now developing marketing plans that will help achieve their goals.

President Cho’s main concern for the PyeongChang Organizing Committee is the lack of sponsorship, as it has raised only 30% of its target of 90 billion Won. He is now working on programs to attract the attention of corporations throughout Korea and around the world – showing the sponsorship benefits of this global event.

President Cho has been meeting with the Organizing Committee for two hours daily at 7 a.m. since his election, according to Han Kook Ilbo. On his second day as President, he conducted an inspection throughout the construction sites via helicopter. His dedication to success is resolute.

One of the issues he’s dealing with is the diversity of the Organizing Committee, with representatives from all areas and walks of life, with divergent points of views. With his experience as the President of the Bidding Committee and Chairman of Korean Air, President Cho is establishing synchronization among the factions by emphasized that “only when harmony is fulfilled can an organization reach its highest level.”

This article was republished with permission from Karl-Heinz Huba, the editor and publisher of the Sport Intern.



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